Academic Programs Catalog

College of Social Science

Graduate Study

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies is concerned with human development and with the interaction of individuals and family members throughout the life cycle as they interact with their environment. The department offers the following degree programs:

Graduate Certificate
   
Youth Development Specialist
    Youth Program Management and Evaluation
Master of Arts
    Family Community Services
    Youth Development
Master of Science
    Child Development
    Human Development and Family Studies
Doctor of Philosophy
    Human Development and Family Studies

All graduate programs in the department are designed to develop professional competence, to encourage creative thinking, and to prepare students to perform and utilize research. Each student's program is developed within the framework of the area of major interest, taking into consideration his or her professional experience, interests, and educational and career goals.

Careers to which advanced degrees may lead include college teaching, research, extension, marriage and family therapy, and administration in early childhood education centers. Graduates also may be employed as family specialists in community and family agencies.

Opportunities are available within the Department of Human Development and Family Studies for graduate students to participate in ongoing interdisciplinary research and in field experiences in school or community settings. The Child Development Laboratories and the Couple and Family Therapy Clinic provide opportunities for applied and research experiences.

Students who are enrolled in Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies may elect specializations in Infancy and Early Childhood. For additional information, refer to the statement on Interdepartmental Graduate Specializations in Infancy and Early Childhood in the College of Social Science section of this catalog.

Master of Arts and Master of Science

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University and of the College of Social Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Students with limited undergraduate backgrounds may be required to correct such deficiencies by completing courses which serve as prerequisites to graduate work.



Child Development - Master of Science

This program focuses on the behavioral, psychological, biological and contextual processes that promote positive developmental outcomes in infants and young children.  Key contexts of development emphasized in the program include family, early childhood educational settings, and culture.  Courses are available in areas such as development across cultures, infant development, language and literacy research and practices, social-emotional development, observational methods for home or classroom, approaches to early education, intervention and prevention programs, and parenting. Laboratory experiences in early childhood education are available in the Child Development Laboratories, and research experiences are available through work with faculty mentors.


Family Community Services - Master of Arts

The Master of Arts in Family Community Services, is a collaborative, multi-institutional program offered totally online. This degree is designed to provide a research-based perspective to understand individual, family, interpersonal and community dynamics across the lifespan. Students will acquire knowledge and skills related to the design, implementation, sustainability, and leadership and management of family and community services programs.

The College of Social Science, in collaboration with The Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA), offers this program with all course work delivered via the Internet/World Wide Web by faculty from multiple land-grant universities: Michigan State University, Kansas State University, University of Missouri, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Oklahoma State University, and South Dakota State University.

Students will earn this degree from their home institution while also enrolling for courses at other participating institutions.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University and of the College of Social Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be admitted, students must apply via their home institution and plan their course of study under the guidance of their academic advisor. Michigan State University students follow established University admission procedures.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree in Family Community Services

The program is available only online and only under Plan B (without thesis). Each student’s course of study must be developed and approved in consultation with the academic advisor. The student must complete a total of 36 credits, of which 30 credits is course work required by The Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA) consortium, distributed as follows:

  1. Core courses (30 credit hours):
    Administration and Management of Human Services Programs
    Crises Across the Lifespan
    Family Dynamics
    Family Resource Management
    Foundations and Principles of Family and Community Services
    Interpersonal Relationships
    Lifespan Development
    Parenting Education
    Program Design, Evaluation and Implementation
    Resilience in Families
  2. Additional course work (6 credit hours).
    This enrollment will vary at each institution.  At Michigan State University, students will fulfill this requirement by enrolling in course work approved by the student’s academic advisor.
  3. Pass a final oral examination or evaluation. This will include a formal presentation by the student on a topic determined by the student and the academic advisor.

Michigan State University students should contact the Department of Human Development and Family Studies or consult the Michigan State University Schedule of Courses for current course schedule and other information.

 


Youth Development - Master of Arts

The Master of Arts in Youth Development, is a collaborative, multiinstitutional program offered totally online. This degree is designed to promote an understanding of communities and families and to prepare students to have an impact on the development of youth in their homes, neighborhoods, and society. American youth born since the early 1980s are projected to be the largest, most ethnically diverse generation of adolescents in the history of the United States, and this program is designed to address that demographic shift.

The curriculum is focused on the promotion of positive development of all young people. It is designed for individuals who wish to work in a variety of youth-related professions, including youth-serving organizations and programs such as Boys and Girls Clubs, community recreation specialties, youth programs sponsored by faith-based institutions, correctional professions, or within U.S. Extension Programs.

The College of Social Science, in collaboration with The Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA), offers this program with all course work delivered via the Internet/World Wide Web by faculty from multiple land-grant universities: Michigan State University, Kansas State University, University of Missouri, North Dakota State University, Texas Tech University, and the University of Nebraska.

Students will earn this degree from their home institution while also enrolling for courses at other participating institutions.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University and of the College of Social Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be admitted, students must apply via their home institution and plan their course of study under the guidance of their academic advisor. Michigan State University students follow established University admission procedures.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree in Youth Development

The program is available only online and only under Plan B (without thesis). Each student’s course of study must be developed and approved in consultation with the academic advisor. Each course is offered at least once every other year. The student must complete a total of 36 credits, of which 28 credits is course work required by The Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA) consortium, distributed as follows:

  1. Core courses (28 credit hours):
    Administration and Program Management
    Adolescents and Their Families
    Community Youth Development
    Contemporary Youth Issues
    Foundations of Youth Development
    Program Design, Evaluation, and Implementation
    Youth Development
    Youth in Cultural Contexts
    Youth Policy
    Youth Professionals as Consumers of Research
  2. Additional course work (8 credit hours).
    This enrollment will vary at each institution and may require a master’s thesis, project, or practicum.  At Michigan State University, students will fulfill this requirement by enrolling in course work approved by the student’s academic advisor.
  3. Pass a final examination or evaluation.

Michigan State University students should contact the Department of Human Development and Family Studies or consult the Michigan State University Schedule of Courses for current course schedule and other information.

 


Human Development and Family Studies - Master of Science

The Master of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies is designed to help students gain an understanding of increasingly diverse family units as well as individual family members as they develop across the life course.  Depending upon student interest and career goals, focus may be on human development (adolescence, aging), leadership, policy or diversity.  Students are prepared to work with and advocate for families, children, youth and adults in a broad range of settings, including extension offices, community agencies, and policy-making contexts.  Both a thesis (Plan A) and non-thesis (Plan B) option are offered.  Those pursuing Plan A are prepared for doctoral study in a variety of related fields. 


Human Development and Family Studies - Doctor of Philosophy

Faculty mentors work closely with doctoral students in experiences related to professional development, theory and conceptual model development, and translational research. Each student completes a professional portfolio during the course of the doctoral program in addition to comprehensive exams and the dissertation.

The Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Human Development and Family Studies offers four concentrations from which students may choose. They include:

Child Development: focus on behavioral, psychological, biological and contextual processes that promote positive developmental outcomes in infants and young children.

Family Diversity: focus on families in sociocultural context to include attention to gender, ethnicity, racial socialization, immigration, poverty, disability, sexual orientation and aging.

Lifespan Human Development: focus on developmental processes across the life course in the context of family, community, schools and other environments. Study may focus on one life stage (youth, emerging or older adults) or examine an issue (attachment, chronic illness) across the entire life course.

Couple and Family Therapy: focus on the application of research and theory to individual, group, couple and family therapy. Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Social Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

Admission to the doctoral program in human development and family studies is based on evidence of academic ability, research potential, achievement, and maturity. Admission to the program assumes a background in the behavioral sciences; collateral course work that does not count toward the doctoral degree may be required where background is inadequate. A prospective doctoral student is required to take the general sections of the Graduate Record Examination and include the results with the application.

To be admitted to the doctoral program in human development and family studies with couple and family therapy as the area of concentration, an applicant must have completed a master's degree program with a major in marriage and family therapy or its equivalent. Students who select the couple and family therapy concentration must participate in a personal interview with a selected faculty committee. Students who select the couple and family therapy concentration are admitted to the degree program in fall semester only.

Requirements for the Degree

Students in the doctoral program in human development and family studies who select the couple and family therapy concentration are required to complete a supervised clinical internship. The Couple and Family Therapy Program at Michigan State University has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. The re-accreditation period is effective through January 2013.

The inclusion of a foreign language in the doctoral program is at the discretion of the candidate and the guidance committee.


Youth Program Management and Evaluation - Graduate Certificate

The Youth Program Management and Evaluation Graduate Certificate is designed to assist youth professionals to develop and apply resources for successful implementation and management of youth-serving organizations. The program addresses the need for advanced education based on research and policy for optimal youth outcomes through a strengths-based curriculum.

The online format and course schedule of the certificate program allow flexibility to accommodate both full-time students and working professionals. The College of Social Science, in collaboration with The Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA), offers this program with all course work delivered via the World Wide Web at www.gpidea.org.

Admission

To be considered for admission into the Youth Program Management and Evaluation Graduate Certificate applicants must follow established University admission procedures. Students currently pursuing the Master of Arts in Youth Development are not eligible to apply for admission to the Youth Program Management and Evaluation Graduate Certificate. For additional information, refer to the Admission section in the Graduate Education section of this catalog.

Requirements for the Youth Program Management and Evaluation Graduate Certificate

The program is available totally online. Each course is offered at least once every other year. The student must complete 13 credits of course work in collaboration with The Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA).

  1. The following course (1 credit):
    Foundations of Youth Development
  2. Four of the following courses (12 credits):
    Administration and Program Management
    Contemporary Youth Issues
    Program Design, Evaluation and Implementation
    Youth Policy
    Youth Professionals as Consumers of Research

 


Youth Development Specialist - Graduate Certificate

The Youth Development Specialist Graduate Certificate is designed to assist youth professionals to train individuals in the second decade of life with the skills necessary for a successful transition into adulthood. The program addresses the need for advanced education in youth issues and does so through a strengths-based curriculum.

The online format and course schedule of the certificate program allows flexibility to accommodate both full-time students and working professionals. The College of Social Science, in collaboration with The Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA), offers this program with all course work delivered via the World Wide Web at www.gpidea.org.

Admission

To be considered for admission into the Youth Development Specialist Graduate Certificate applicants must follow established University admission procedures. Students currently pursuing the Master of Arts in Youth Development are not eligible to apply for admission to the Youth Development Specialist Graduate Certificate.  For additional information, refer to the Admission section in the Graduate Education section of this catalog.

Requirements for the Youth Development Specialist Graduate Certificate

The program is available totally online. Each course is offered at least once every other year. The student must complete 13 credits of course work in collaboration with The Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA).

  1. The following course (1 credit):
    Foundations of Youth Development
  2. Four of the following courses (12 credits):
    Adolescents and Their Families
    Community Youth Development
    Contemporary Youth Issues
    Youth Development
    Youth in Cultural Contexts
    Youth Policy